Dark Horse (Nickelback album)

Dark Horse is the sixth studio album by the Canadian rock band Nickelback, released on November 17, 2008, in Europe and a day later elsewhere.[6] It is the follow-up to their multi-platinum selling All the Right Reasons (2005). It was co-produced by the band and producer and songwriter Robert John "Mutt" Lange, known for working with such acts as Foreigner, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard and Shania Twain. Dark Horse sold 326,000 in its first week and debuted at number 2 in the US. More than a year after its release, the album did not leave the Top 100 on the Billboard 200. In its 91st week, the album peaked at #46 for the week of August 28, 2010.[7] From 9 October, the album stayed at #71 for 97 consecutive weeks[8] The album spent 125 consecutive weeks inside the Billboard 200.[9] On the week of November 29, 2014, Dark Horse re-entered the Billboard 200 at #195, more than six years after the album's release.

Dark Horse
Dark Horse (Nickelback album cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 18, 2008 (2008-11-18)
RecordedMarch–July 2008
StudioMountain View Studios, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Nickelback chronology
All the Right Reasons
Dark Horse
Here and Now
Singles from Dark Horse
  1. "Gotta Be Somebody"
    Released: September 29, 2008
  2. "Something in Your Mouth"
    Released: October 28, 2008
  3. "If Today Was Your Last Day"
    Released: November 11, 2008
  4. "Burn It to the Ground"
    Released: January 29, 2009
  5. "I'd Come for You"
    Released: March 23, 2009
  6. "Never Gonna Be Alone"
    Released: September 29, 2009
  7. "Shakin' Hands"
    Released: November 16, 2009
  8. "This Afternoon"
    Released: March 23, 2010[5]

It was ranked #191 on Billboard's 200 Albums of the Decade.[10] It is also the band's fourth straight Multi-Platinum selling album in the United States. As of 2010, the album has sold 3 million copies in the United States and 5 million copies worldwide.

Promotion and singlesEdit

The first single from the album was "Gotta Be Somebody", which was released online for free digital download on September 29, 2008, for a strict 24-hour period.[6] "If Today Was Your Last Day" had been planned as the lead single but was scrapped at the last minute. The track "Something in Your Mouth" became available for download from the United States iTunes Store on October 28, and was released to US rock radio airplay as the second single from the album on December 15. The song was a hit in 2009 in many countries, such as the United States. In Australia, it received little airplay.

In January 2009, the album's second mainstream single (third overall) was released: "I'd Come for You", with Nigel Dick having made the music video. Songs "Something in Your Mouth" and "Burn It to the Ground", written by Kroeger, were released only to the rock radio stations in December 2008 and May 2009 respectively.

The exclusive Wal-Mart edition of Dark Horse included a link to download an MP3 from Nickelback's performance of "This Afternoon" on Wal-Mart Soundcheck.[11]

The album won numerous accolades at the 2009 Juno Awards, winning three out of five of its nominated awards including "Rock Album of the Year".

Dark Horse was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 9, 2008, only three weeks after its North American release. The album also remained in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 for weeks after its release.[12][13] The album was certified two times platinum in April 2009, and had by April 2010 sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.[13]Burn it to the Ground was also nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 52nd Grammy Awards but lost to AC/DC's "War Machine". On September 13, 2010, the album re-entered the German Albums Chart at No. 30, 21 months after its debut and almost 6 months after its last entry on that chart.[14]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Blender     [16]
LA Times    [17]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[18]
The Guardian     [19]
Spin     [20]
Sputnikmusic     [21]
PopMatters          [22]
Rolling Stone     [23]
Mojo     [24]

According to Metacritic, the album received mixed reviews from critics, scoring 49 out of 100.[15] Conversely, it received the Juno Award for Album of the Year, a category whose nominees are the top five selling Canadian releases of the year.[25]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave Dark Horse 1.5/5, writing, "Dark Horse is constructed entirely from the group's standard power ballad and hard rock templates, the mood only lightening when Kroeger and company take a break to kick back on 'This Afternoon.'"[4] Entertainment Weekly reviewer Leah Greenblatt wrote, "It's hard not to be put off by the execrable lyrics of album opener "Something in Your Mouth" (the song is basically kryptonite for feminists)."[18] PopMatters criticised the band's release, giving it 3/10 and saying it was a step down from previous albums: "Dark Horse finds the group at a creative low point. Each song sounds like an older, better Nickelback hit, and Kroeger only once displays his prior songwriting strength with the sad-bastard portrait 'Just to Get High'."[22] The Guardian awarded the album 1/5, being particularly negative of the band's cliché style; "Nickelback's music reaffirms every sex-and-stupidity cliche hard rock can offer."[19]

Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review, complimenting its production. ""Mutt" Lange lightens Nickelback's dreary post-grunge plod, applying guitar shimmer to prom ballads and detonating big beats under frat-party shouts and raplike vocal parts."[23] Whilst ChartAttack credited the band's success to knowing its target audience: "Chad Kroeger is a genius because he knows exactly what people want and precisely how far he can go. He turned out an extremely racy album that's loaded with songs about gettin' drunk and doin' it all without breaking any taboos, and with enough love and moral authority to grease its passage into the mainstream. Rejoice, North America. This is your world."[26] Billboard also praised the album's content: "The bulletproof Nickelback provides affordable fun that promises good returns in hard times."[27]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by Chad Kroeger; all music is composed by Nickelback with Robert John "Mutt" Lange on tracks 1, 4, 7, 8 and 11.

1."Something in Your Mouth"3:38
2."Burn It to the Ground"3:28
3."Gotta Be Somebody"4:13
4."I'd Come for You"4:22
5."Next Go Round"3:43
6."Just to Get High"4:02
7."Never Gonna Be Alone"3:47
8."Shakin' Hands"3:39
10."If Today Was Your Last Day"4:07
11."This Afternoon"4:34
Total length:43:38

Wal-Mart exclusive bonus track

  1. "This Afternoon" (Original Performance Series) – 4:26

Australian singles

  1. "Gotta Be Somebody"
  2. "I'd Come for You"
  3. "If Today Was Your Last Day"
  4. "Never Gonna Be Alone"
  5. "Burn It to the Ground"
  6. "This Afternoon"




  • Mutt Lange – production
  • Joey Moi – production, mixing on "Gotta Be Somebody", "Never Gonna Be Alone" and "This Afternoon"
  • Randy Staub – mixing
  • Zach Blackstone – mixing assistance
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixing on "I'd Come for You"
  • Nik Karpen – mixing assistance on "I'd Come for You"
  • Keith Armstrong – mixing assistance on "I'd Come for You"
  • Mike Shipley – mixing on "If Today Was Your Last Day"
  • Brian Wohlgemuth – mixing assistance on "If Today Was Your Last Day"
  • Ted Jensenmastering
  • Olle Romoediting, additional engineering
  • Scott Cooke – editing, additional engineering

Chart positionsEdit


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[39] Gold 10,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[40] 6× Platinum 480,000^
Germany (BVMI)[41] Platinum 200,000^
GCC (IFPI Middle East)[42] Platinum 6,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[43] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[44] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[46] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Catalogue
Australia 15 November 2008 Warner Music RR 8028-2
Europe 17 November 2008
United States November 18, 2008 Roadrunner
Canada EMI



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  2. ^ Chuck Eddy (2008-11-27). "Dark Horse | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
  3. ^ a b "Nickelback rides- again- with 'Dark Horse'". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Dark Horse". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Top 40/Mainstream > Cool New Music". allaccess.com. LINK OUTDATED.
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  7. ^ Dark Horse climbs on the Billboard 200 Albums and crack 80 consecutive weeks 'Billboard' Accessed on May 13, 2010
  8. ^ "Billboard 200: Week of October 09, 2010". Billboard.com.
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  12. ^ Latest Platinum Album Certifications. billboard.com. Accessed on 15 December 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 15 December 2008.
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  16. ^ Rob Sheffield. "Dark Horse review". Blender. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  17. ^ Lewis, Randy (17 November 2008). "Album Review: Nickelback's 'Dark Horse'". LA Times. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  18. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (12 November 2008). "Review: Dark Horse". Entertainment Weekly. No. 1021–1022. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  19. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (14 November 2008). "Rock review: Nickelback, Dark Horse". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  20. ^ Wood, Mikael (19 December 2008). "Nickelback, 'Dark Horse'(Roadrunner)". Spin. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Review: Nickelback - Dark Horse". Sputnikmusic. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  22. ^ a b Sawdey, Evan (9 December 2008). "Album review: Nickelback's 'Dark Horse'". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  23. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (27 November 2008). "Review: Dark Horse". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  24. ^ "Nickelback : Dark Horse". Mojo: 104. January 2008.
  25. ^ Nickelback Win Three Junos Archived 2009-04-01 at the Wayback Machine
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  27. ^ Billboard review Archived March 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
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  32. ^ Россия Top 25: Аквариум - Лошадь белая (in Russian). 2M-online.ru. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
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  34. ^ "Nickelback - Dark Horse" (in Japanese). oricon ME inc. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  35. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2009". Media Control. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  36. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on April 18, 2013. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  37. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums Year End 2010". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  38. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
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  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". Music Canada.
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  42. ^ "IFPI Middle East Awards – 2009". IFPI Middle East.
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  44. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2009" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  45. ^ "British album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Dark Horse in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  46. ^ "American album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit